Pixelation

Critique => Pixel Art => Topic started by: Helm on November 01, 2005, 05:09:49 pm

Title: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 01, 2005, 05:09:49 pm
(http://www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal21unfinished.png)

I've been making this for a long while, then I got a job and no longer had the time or inclination for it. Demoscene artwork takes a lot out of you. I will not be finishing this it seems. If I ever make another 640x480 pic, I'll dedicate the effort to a theme that I find more substantial and varied and fun to work on. This is all pixel art of course, but some pro motion tricks have been used. It's posted as is just so it doesn't rot in my harddrive forever. I think there's merit to a lot of how the face and the little part of the hair that is finished is made, maybe the chest a bit. some 64 colours, not optimized ( could get it down to 42 or something, maybe even less if I wanted) and not colour-corrected or contrast enhanced. Zoom in to at least x2 zoom for appreciation of the finer points and tints.

oh well.

history:

www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal2.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal3.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal4.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal5.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal6.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal7.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal8.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal9.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal10.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal11.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal12.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal13.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal14.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal15.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal16.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal17.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal18.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal19.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal20.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal21.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal22.png
www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal23.png

last one more recent than one posted, but not in a significant way. if anyone needs they can make this into an animation or something. There's interest in how I work with flatshaded polygons sorta

EDIT: actually, lolmetal23.png is quite more advanced than the first image. here's a full post for posterity:

(http://www.locustleaves.com/lolmetal23.png)
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Filax_666 on November 01, 2005, 05:35:02 pm
Spectacular  :o

The face is unremarcably (I hope I spelled this correctly :s) well pixeled (oh god is that a skull next to his theeth?cool!).the veins are very well defined and the shading works fantastically. And the hair- oh my god - is so...so...realistic! I cant find words to describe it...

The only thing I think that looks wrong, and it was hard to notice, is the chest: it looks a bit too hum...segmentated (I dont really know if this word exists in english but thats how I would say in portuguese - "segmentado"). In my opinion you should make it as a whole, not like it is.

Aside from that, theres nothing I can say against it. Great job (I hope you find the time and patience to finish it)
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Silver on November 01, 2005, 05:36:30 pm
Helm this is really Good piece .
There are no cirts for me to give ,
The background is very well done , the texter on his Body is great . the hair looks real with that dark red .
I Like this demoscene stuff especially from u helm .
Cant wait to see it finished ,
Good luck helm
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: ejay on November 01, 2005, 06:05:06 pm
This is really amazing. i love every bit of it, but especially the atmospheric tinting on the hair on the right. cool stuff.

Do you have an online gallery somewhere with more of these ?

I'd also appreciate it if you could share some tips about the way you use color and tinting in the early stages of your work- i'm interested in the decision making process- is it something that you're constantly aware of and can put into words or do you find yourself making most of those choices automatically ?
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 01, 2005, 06:12:57 pm
ejay, I don't have an online gallery besides my things on pixeljoint.

I don't think there's any tinting way early in the process here, is there? Post which history step you mean if you want something specific. When dealing with demoscene artwork, I make my colour ramps estimating what tints I'll be using beforehand and then adjust each shade until it meshes considerably in my mind. Way early this is all the one flesh ramp until I'm satisfied with the volumetrics. The corpsepaint face of course called for a pure grayscale ramp, and the hair and leather for blues and reds. So 64 colours. When I had my ramps, I somewhat intuitively started testing tints on places ( like the collarbones which I REALLY love as they came out ) and some stuff just makes sense ( like the tint on the shoulder from the resonant blue behind the hair ). Other stuff are just there to be there. I like mixing everything with everything. Pure ramps look boring to me.

If you need more info, just point to a thing I did on a specific step and I'll be glad to explain what I had in mind. Since this isn't artwork that stands as finished, might as well make a tutorial out of this thread, no? :)
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: ejay on November 01, 2005, 08:13:00 pm
Thanks Helm,
I'm glad you picked the coloring of the collarbones as an example, it Does look great yet to me it's not what i'd call intuitive coloring.
I remember Craig Mullins (goodbrush.com) once said in a forum post that you can generally go crazy with your hues, as long as you get the values right.

If i may continue my interrogation , i'm also curious about the greenish tints in the skin ramps - the blue tints makes sense to me because of the suggested blue atmosphere , but the greens don't( by mere intuition , it's all super-sweet to my eyes  :) ).
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: crab2selout.png on November 01, 2005, 08:26:23 pm
It's beautiful Helm. Did you really do this by hand without any dithering brushes or things like that? If so, I can see why you got sick of it ;D

I've got no crits or anything. The neck areas probably my favourite part. Can't really figure out how to explain what I like about it though.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 01, 2005, 08:33:46 pm
Craig Mullins is talking about things I probably wouldn't understand for the life of me I guess, but from my limited ability and experience I can too tell that as long as you properly minmax the saturation and lightness of a shade, you can do pretty freaking big jumps in hue from shade to shade and it will look very well. Look at a recent edit I did for faceless' avatar for hue jumps in a single ramp. There's theory behind the hue shifts most of the time, but since pixel art allows for such minute control at any level in creating the piece, one sometimes just goes crazy and experiments with the HSL sliders on a shade, 1 bit at a time :)

Generally though, the theory is that you tint towards the colour of the lightsource ( blueish yellow in sunlight I guess ) and towards complementary shades in darkness. Skin strangely adds saturation in darkness in places where the skin is thin and light subsurface scatters through, but it goes towards more muted unsaturated purple darks where it is thick and oily. In pixel art, and this is more of the way I learnt to pixel from studying amiga-era artists, I usually forget proper theory when I tint art. I like to unify my palette for the piece, everything everywhere, and I like to keep the main colour of the piece as 'ambient'. It's there, but it's not THERE and THERE but not THERE. It's the general colour. Otherwise I like to use otherworldly lightsources, tints and smearings that while not realistic, suit the pixel art aesthetic I've developed over the years.

The computer is not a tool for simple reproduction of representational art like actual painting can be (amongst other things). It has it's own aesthetic. There is an aesthetic in the method. You can accentuate the aesthetic by making the method more visible in the art. Computer art, video-game art, pixel art. These things have special charges that need to be understood and to an extent exploredfor me to respect the produced art as within a new medium in itself. In that respect then, I pixel in colour schemes and stylistics I've picked up from amiga art, because clear 'reality'-based colour theory doesn't accentuate the pixel art method for me. Also, I sometimes texture using squares, or my structures ( not as in this piece ) accentuate the vertical and horisontal grids, generally giving the feel of squares, doublewide pixels, etc etc. Pixel art isn't just drawing in another way.

about green tint in flesh: I think I was trying to unify that end of the ramp with the pure gray ramp I use to tint that under the nipple for example for later when I would collapse the two ramps so as to save shades at the optimization stage. But the sickly green suits his oily flesh, no? What else would probably work would be as sick burned pink, but it would need a lot of juggling to balance it now if I changed it.


crab2selout: of course dither brushes were used. Also darken/lighten modes, some smearing around the head hmm what else...

no that's about it.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Filax_666 on November 01, 2005, 09:08:32 pm
Im goin to feel so stupid askin this...what are dither brushes??? ???
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: ejay on November 01, 2005, 10:18:50 pm
Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply , i enjoyed it very much. Some good people still out there, evidently.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 01, 2005, 10:26:51 pm
no worries.

filax: by dither brush I am reffering to a mode in pro motion ( which can be done in psp and ps too I guess ) called 'dither' on which you can set patterns of dither and when you paint, it automatically ommits the 0 dither squares and paints the 1 squares. So you don't have to do manual dithering all the time. Of course, once you've dithered a bit as you want it with the dither mode, you switch back to normal painting and do any detail work you want on the dither, gradient it in and out of places, add noise so it's not only pattern dither, depends on what you want to do.

similarly, darken and lighten mode are modes in pro motion where when you click with your brush at places, instead of placing down the colour you've selected, it darkens the pixels beneath your pointer according to how much you've set the darken brush to in the options. This is a good tool, but it needs careful consideration in usage, as this is not photoshop, this is pixel art. Careful placement of pixels and very delicate control is paramount here. darken and lighten brushes are useful for when you've pixelled large areas of a texture, and then want to give shape to it by darkening slices or whatever of it without upsetting the detail work or repainting. In pro motion, you simply select the area you want to darken as a brush, and then click it once or twice to darken it. Then you tweak and perhaps dither in and out and voila, now it's darker, but it's not destructively edited.

Hope all this helps. You won't find paint modes in graphics gale, ms paint or the like. You will in deluxe paint, personal paint ( amiga ), gfx2 ( there's a windows build now ) and of course, Pro Motion, which I suggest.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Godslayer on November 01, 2005, 10:47:55 pm
As far as I'm concerned, you win at life. I lover reading all your posts and looking at the art you crank out, its all very inspiring to me. :o
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Darion on November 02, 2005, 01:18:28 am
You are so intelligent. Beautiful job, BUT where the shadow ends under his left arm, the line is a bit pillowshaded. Was this intentional to give a fuzzy look? If so, good idea; if not ... well, it looks good anyway.

God, I love all the speculars eveywhere.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: miascugh on November 02, 2005, 08:22:49 pm
heh, i sure am glad that i kinda served as a source of inspiration for this piece (or have i?), nice nebular frost around his head :). it does good to see when an artist goes about his work with such a sense of what he/she's doing, which unfortunately is only worth mentioning here because when it comes to pixel art it seems to be a rarity (in the english speaking communities i know of). even though i've been making myself scarce recently i have to say that i enjoy this place the most of all pixelart related hideouts on the net (not that i get around too much anyways), mostly also because i usually can agree with the rest about considering someone a great pixelpusher and that with a feeling that his/her pushery is appreciated for the right reasons.

seeing such eye candy once in a while really makes me wish that more people with much more of an artistic background than most of us teenagers doing it just for the kicks of it (surely with a good deal of aspiring and becoming artists amongst it, just no made craftsmen yet) would bear with this rather underrepresented media...

ok, back to trying to get away from pixelart ;)
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Filax_666 on November 02, 2005, 08:29:12 pm
Thanks for explaining Helm  :)

I use Pixen, and it only has the basic tools, no tricks or stuff like that.I agree that a dither brush IS helpful when youre doing such a huge thing like this one. Once more, a remarcable work.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 02, 2005, 09:42:54 pm
mia : you know your avatar started all this :P

about sense of purpose and control of form: most people who branch out to demoscene artwork and generally don't stick to game-art related pixel art have to give more thought to how they do things. Look at what Ptoing or Pep are doing... I too sometimes get tired of the 'I'm making game sprites! woo hoo! they'll jump around and... shoot stuff!' type of mentality. In that, there's nothing wrong with game art, but even then there is an underlying aesthetic to consider and to accentuate if you can. The big problem is not in inherent in art that is for games, then. It is in that the people that try to make it, are aping the style of the games they liked, without deeper understanding of the themes and processes that created them. This is not a call for 'originality!'. I know better than that. It's more that I'd like to see game art or whatever art by people with more critical understanding of what makes stuff work than just 'it looks nice... I liked it in other games... might as well, huh?'  There's only so much to gain from making yet another japanese-style rpg with graphics just like final fantasy or secret of mana after all. People are too busy trying to make nostalgia-fodder to consider computer aesthetic and the such. The demoscene was more left-field than that, but not all the time either.

However, to be fair, this is still just a joke picture about black metal. So it's not like I'm practicing what I'm preaching here a lot. There's smart stuff going on in the aesthetic, but it's otherwise quite vacant art. Which is why I gave up on it mostly. The other half was that I succeeded in pixelling the textures and stuff I wanted to do. Flesh, leather, hair, nebular frost. From then and onwards it was just a matter of doing MORE of it. And that's boring for me, at this stage.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Conzeit on November 03, 2005, 02:40:41 pm
I absolutley know what you're talking about Helm, and I agree a with it all, except the statement that Demoscene was that much better, afterall it progressed based in technical feats and was mostly copy work....

I always try to create a new kind of aestethic statement with every piece I do, as unsuccesfull as I may be.

about your piece, I totally agree with you, smart stuff going on with the skintones, and I really like the expression, but this is one of those pieces where the sums of the parts is lesser than each one of them on their own, since as  you said there wasnt ea very important binding theme, just some quick inspiration.

I dont understand how you got "bored" of gameart anyway, except for that flashack mock up I didnt really see any gameart anyway. you should really give animation a try before you say that, it is quite a freeing form of expression.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 03, 2005, 10:16:45 pm
Demoscene was at least marginally better because they looked to more varied sources for inspiration than OMG LOL FINAL FANTASY LOL. In the very least. Copies? Yeah, copies. At least they were copies of great artists, not final fantasy. And there's a lot of work that isn't copy work too.

A big agreement on the loss of the sum in regards to the part, nailed it on it's head about the lack of message and defining theme. Not every picture needs these, but some do.

I got 'bored' of empty game art. Mimed game art just like the game art before it, made to be stuck in games that will be like the games before them. I still make a lot of games ( which I don't advertise here ) so I do my fair share of game art, and a lot of animation. Neither bored with it all, or done with it all at any stretch.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Darien on November 03, 2005, 11:04:43 pm
You make it sound like everyone who makes game art is a Final Fantasy fanboy, Helm.  Although, that is true that many people who get into pixel art do so because they want to make a game (generally RPGs) and to do so they study what they would logically study: art in a video game.  I'm not going to get into why people want to make games and why it's always an RPG, but it would not be at all logical to start out by going, "Hmm, in order to make art for this game, why don't I get some inspiration from the Impressionist era."  I believe that the best place for an aspiring game artist to start would be a video game.  Not that's where that artist should stay; on the contrary, they should explore all types of art.  But to get on an artist's case by looking at Final Fantasy or any other video game for inspiration because he wants to make game art is rediculous.  Especially since it's hard to create an aestitic statement in an art medium when you don't have a firm grasp of that medium yet.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 03, 2005, 11:09:20 pm
"Hmm, in order to make art for this game, why don't I get some inspiration from the Impressionist era."

that sounds so awesome. Someone make that game.

But on a more serious note: the generic anime aesthetic of these japanese rpgs has little depth most of the time even in it's ORIGINAL state. Immitations of that by 19 year old americans can only stand to become even more vacuous. Sorry. What can I say? I no longer am interested in rpgs with the valiant blue-haired knight with cross scar on his cheek and huge sword and the blonde fairy girl with the cat ears and the evil cape guy with the overdone shoulderpads. Sorry. Game art can be more than this.

Also sorry if I wasn't clear: looking at video games for inspiration for video games for me is fine. Looking just a little deeper though, to see the machine aesthetic, is more of what i'm talking about. Looking at resolution. Squares. Aspect ratios. Refresh rates. Scanlines. antiquated palettes like EGA or c64 colours... there's a special history and something very intimately ABOUT computers in video games that shouldn't just be conviniently brushed aside are replaced by quick-CG-just-like-anime-lol!
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Darien on November 03, 2005, 11:32:13 pm
Also sorry if I wasn't clear: looking at video games for inspiration for video games for me is fine. Looking just a little deeper though, to see the machine aesthetic, is more of what i'm talking about. Looking at resolution. Squares. Aspect ratios. Refresh rates. Scanlines. antiquated palettes like EGA or c64 colours... there's a special history and something very intimately ABOUT computers in video games that shouldn't just be conviniently brushed aside are replaced by quick-CG-just-like-anime-lol!

Now look who's talking about nostagia-fodder  ;)

Seriously, though, you do have a valid point.  I think I was unclear at what you were discouraging. Anime stereotypes do get tiresome, and from looking at game art you could miss that there are other ways of pixelling.  Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of information regarding what you said readily availiable, or at least making itself known to the pixel art community.  It'd be interesting if a series of articles or something was written about those aspects of pixel and computer art history, to educate artists who are too young to know about it.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Conzeit on November 03, 2005, 11:56:20 pm
ah. you damn tease, why didnt you ever show your gameprojects in pixelation? were they rushed or something?(dont worry we wont laugh ;p) or is pixelation not up to your mighty gameplay ideas? are you just lazy?...or what?

you're making good points here, that's why I've enjoyed so much the path pep ptoing you and hell...the whole poocrew (whatever they're called now) you all seem to develop an aesthetic of your own.

I see your point about gameart vs demo, they are both pretty creatively empty comunities XD we're screwed

I kind of see what you mean about scanlines and whatnot, I've been curious about that trick on c64 that was used to make certain pixels in sprites selectively taller, it generated some pretty interesting looking stuff, I've been kind of tempted to try it out in my art but I dont know the exact limitations for it.

Another point that brings up is remakes. you know, it is kind of sad how in both movies and videogames directors are deciding to remake their stuff and take out a bunch of good old stuff very related to the flaws of the form of expression.

Take for example Rockman Rockman which's coming out for PSP, it's a remake of the first Megaman in which Infaune the creator decided to redesign megaman and make him a typical anime chibi, allegedly because "that's how I always wanted him in the first place", but I really disagree, because he also says that megaman is only blue because of the wide pallete of blues in NES, but he wouldnt make megaman another color just because he's making a remake would he?

In all these remakes, directors are always forgetting that the limitations of their expressive medium decided much of the look of their work and this became part of the essence of their piece, in Megaman's case it's the very curious and charming face features the characters have, every robot has an unintended expression caused by the weird compromises the pixelartist had to do in order to make the face, and this gives each of their expressions an unusual depth, but instead of recognizing this they just throw it out in favor of the current trends, which will in time also look as dated as the original versions, only they will be more empty and make a worse composition with the gameplay elements.

Star wars is another good example, much of the look depended on the limitations of the time, whenever there was an electrocution for example, the electricity effects were abstract lines that ran trough the form of the electrified object in quite a peculiar way, but in the prequels they just look like the more logical voltaic arcs one would expect.

it all strikes me as if a painter decided to tear his painting just because he heard that photoshop came out, and now he can automatically do lensflare effects, how is that improving the art at all?

eh....that got awfully offtopic, back on topic a little bit more...why dont we think of a way to reflect this in the boards? make a "create your own style" challenge of some sort? there must be some way we can use this insight.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 04, 2005, 12:09:03 am
no, none of this is offtopic. This is my thread, and it aint' about my unfinished art if I say so :P so no worries, this discussion is very stimulating for me. Everybody, go ahead and contribute your thoughts if you desire. There's not much to say about lolmetal anymore anyway. Or we could take this to OT possibly. if it gets REALLY derailed, I'll split the topic.

Quote
ah. you damn tease, why didnt you ever show your gameprojects in pixelation? were they rushed or something?(dont worry we wont laugh ;p) or is pixelation not up to your mighty gameplay ideas? are you just lazy?...or what?

dunno if you've noticed, but I don't pimp. At all. not even my art in art-related boards. I don't like it, that's all. My games aren't rushed, some of them are good ( Gladiator Quest, Caverns ) but they'll be found by those that care to find them.

as to the 'trick' in c64, it didn't make pixels in sprites taller, it made everything you drew in tiles doublewidth in pixels. There's an interesting aesthetic there, you could indeed give it a little try. For anyone who wants to look in pixel art history more, do yourselves a favour and play a few old nes games, then Captain Blood, then Impossible Mission for the c64, perhaps a few old AGI Sierra adventure games ( with the doublewide pixels we discussed and EGA palettes :) ) and a more coherent picture will emerge from all of these.

I completely hear you about limitations. Limitations lead to alternate ways to deal with something besides the most obvious way. This is many times good because for no other reason than that it makes you SIT DOWN AND THINK of these alternate reasons. As they say in creative writing classes: the first thing that comes to mind when writing about something? Disregard it. So yeah, I'm 100% more interested in what a limited budget 70's movie would have to put in place of the giant CGI 3d robot they have planned for. Case in point: stop motion animation! I find it a lot more charming than all the 3d effects of recent movies.

Limitations, when faced bravely and ingeniously are POWER. We're dealing with limitations here. Self-restrictions. We can do great things with 16 colours and 256 pixels of space.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Conzeit on November 04, 2005, 12:47:25 am
hmmm, no...I dont think you know what I'm talking about on c64 graphics.

you see, this is something I saw in fist when I helped madgarden, if you look at the fist sprites, there are some pixels that are taller than others. this doesnt look particularily good in fist, but I've seen atleast one sprite (as an avatar on a oldschool forum) that made it look good, so I'm a little tempted to seeing how that works out, maybe if I toy with the limitations of sprites it can help me find out why I like lowres images so much.

I think there's more to limitations than the fact they make you reconsider, every medium has it's limitations you know? just like you cant have an infinite pallete in oil painting, or you cant see what your image is like when you do engraving, you cant make smooth curves with pixelart.

This all calls for new forms of expression, and any given piece is always defined by the limitations of it's mediums. Take movies example, movie characters absolutley must have visual ways of expressing their feelings, no matter how forced it'll feel for the character.Therefore a piece will always show signs of what medium originated it, because it's basic structure is related to the limitations of the medium. This always seems to be underestimated in videogames though, specially when it comes to pixelart, I belive many of the basic aesthetics of pixelart could be useful in many other mediums, vectors and 3d included

just look at the 3d KOFs, 2dKOF always stood for a very specific style, in the beggining this was realism, but on the later entries pretty much from 99 onward, it came to be a little more, a very weird mix of cel shading and gradient where the shadowed areas are composed of a simple outline, an overbearing terminator shade, and the litup areas are extremely detailed, somewhat reasembling a harsh mid-day sunlight.hmmm, no...I dont think you know what I'm talking about on c64 graphics.

you see, this is something I saw in fist when I helped madgarden, if you look at the fist sprites, there are some pixels that are taller than others. this doesnt look particularily good in fist, but I've seen atleast one sprite (as an avatar on a oldschool forum) that made it look good, so I'm a little tempted to seeing how that works out, maybe if I toy with the limitations of sprites it can help me find out why I like lowres images so much.

I think there's more to limitations than the fact they make you reconsider, every medium has it's limitations you know? just like you cant have an infinite pallete in oil painting, or you cant see what your image is like when you do engraving, you cant make smooth curves with pixelart.

This all calls for new forms of expression, and any given piece is always defined by the limitations of it's mediums. Take movies example, movie characters absolutley must have visual ways of expressing their feelings, no matter how forced it'll feel for the character.Therefore a piece will always show signs of what medium originated it, because it's basic structure is related to the limitations of the medium. This always seems to be underestimated in videogames though, specially when it comes to pixelart, I belive many of the basic aesthetics of pixelart could be useful in many other mediums, vectors and 3d included

just look at the 3d KOFs, 2dKOF always stood for a very specific style, in the beggining this was realism, but on the later entries pretty much from 99 onward, it came to be a little more, a very weird mix of cel shading and gradient where the shadowed areas are composed of a simple outline, an overbearing terminator shade, and the litup areas are extremely detailed, somewhat reasembling a harsh mid-day sunlight.All in all, quite a unique and interesting aesthetic

what's the 3d version like? just like anything else in the market.What is SNK thinking? does it not know it's own work?
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Locrian on November 07, 2005, 03:04:21 am
(http://locrian.rpgdx.net/images/bmdoll.gif)
UBER KVLT KRIEGENDOLLEN AWARD!

Seriously this is very fun to look through.  His corpse paint really looks all nasty and sweaty.  Dig the cartoonyness.  And the texuring or whatever it would be called.  The green in the skin tones is nice because it compliments the reddish colors in the skin.  Setting complimentary colors against each other in flesh helps round out the form.  Now you just need to finish him and give him two sidekicks.  Quit this artsy fartsy whining.  This behavior is not very tr00. 

google "black metal apricots" and watch the video if you haven't seen it already.  +5 Inspiration.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 07, 2005, 04:30:43 am
black metal is funnier when it's dead serious and the hilarity comes from unintentionality. This black metal apricot thing is rediculous, not funny.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: ptoing on November 07, 2005, 04:35:16 am
Camus, i am pretty sure I know what you are talking about acording the c64 sprites.
C64 sprites can be 24x21 at max and there are two different gfx modes a sprite can be (prolly some more hax modes).
A mcol sprite can have 3 colours + trans and has wide pixels so the res is 12x21 stretched.
A hires sprite can only have 1 colour + trans, but has the full 24x21.

Many games used two or more overlayed sprites.

Here is reverse engineered 2 player sprites from 2 c64 games

This one is from Mayhem in Monsterland (really good jump and run)
(http://ptoing.net/monsterland.png)
I have no clue why the mcol only has 2 colours + trans, perhaps part of the feet were black in the mcol for whatever reason.
Basically they made the outline in hires and coloured the thing underneath with an mcol sprite.

This one is from Turrican, and it is in fact 4 sprites, 2 hires and 2 mcol sprites.
(http://ptoing.net/turrican.png)
Here the hires ones are used to add a 4th colour to the sprite, it makes very little use of 1x1 pixels.

This concludes my c64 blabbering.

Btw, what do you mean with "you cant make smooth curves with pixelart"??

About the 3d KOF: it looks actually pretty crap compared to other fighters and that simply is because SNK has no experience in 3d at all and prolly did not hire many new artists for 3d at that point, also it is way easier to make abstractions in 2d than in 3d art (where it is possible as well but takes a bit more expertise to make it look good imo)

And another thing, I think you think too much about stuff that is not worth thinking about and due to this interpret stuff in into something that has not deeper meaning or you just miss a certain thing. With the NES Megaman sprites for example, i don't think that the expressions were "untintended" they were to some extend dictated by the hardware, just like the fact that mario has a mustache and a hat was dictated by the hardware, but they were still design choices made by the respecrie designers and artists. No offense.

Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Conzeit on November 07, 2005, 06:30:09 pm
wow, thanks a lot...yeah, that does look like what I'm thinking of, specially with the turrican one, the monsterland one is much more impressive though, because they used the technolgy so cleverly to make it look as  if it's all in hi-res. this is so interesting.

 I'll see if I can mess with that....how did you reverse engineer these sprites? just guesswork or do you have a special tool/knowledge? I may D/L some c64 games just to try this out...seems very interesting =)


they were to some extend dictated by the hardware....... but they were still design choices made by the respecrie designers and artists.
heh, I know! I gues my point is just that when they leave this hardware, they should keep in mind what this hardware forced them to think like and imitate it, because that type of thinking HAS become part of their franchise, so in a way they should emulate to a certain extent the limitations the older hardware gave em.

take stipling for example, of course the artist was the one to think up that he should be using a lot of lines to simulate shading and have a rich language when doing engraving, but it is stil engraving what motivated him to invent stipling, it's not like a medium can invent a technique all on it's own, of course it's the artist the one that comes up with it.

if you're gonna do a cg muppets movie you couldnt just make all the characters move like a normal cg character because that's what they are now, you would have to imitate the way a puppet would move because puppet-like expressions are part of every muppet character, the same should apply to moving from hardware to hardware in videogames.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 07, 2005, 06:39:03 pm
I agree very much with your last post, camus. In the history of the machines you can see the developing aesthetic, and it should be studied and implemented so as to computer art distinct.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Conzeit on November 07, 2005, 08:58:17 pm
heh, I knew we would agree helm, you were the reason this ever even came up anyway, how could you not agree? :p

Ptoing: (http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b340/baybaybom/c64Frog.gif) that is the frog I reffered to. it doesnt really use the technique to add any extra color, but it uses the two types of res so seamlessly I think it captures the appeal of pixelart whitout limiting to only one kind of pixel.

Any clue what game that's from? I just grabbed it from someone's avatar at a retro forum I cant even remember, I would D/L and inspect that game if I knew.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v165/talbot/dracman-odd.gif)
For anyone who wondered what the hell my vampire avatar was all about, it was my first stab at understanding a pixelart aesthetic not based in only one kind of pixel, I didnt know about C64 sprites back then so that's why it was such a shabby attempt at that, I may try a second piece like that after some c64 inspection though =)

I find pixelart made up of multiple pixel sizes so exciting because deciding wether pixelart is meaningfull or not is a constant struggle for me, I belive any given form of expression is only meaningfull if it's basic aesthetics CAN be taken out of it and used on other mediums.

pixelart of multiple pixel sizes takes the appeal of a rigid grid of homohenic squares OUT of the homogenity and rigidness, so it gives me a little glimmer of hope that maybe pixelart isnt meaningless after all :)
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: ptoing on November 08, 2005, 10:40:12 am
I have no clue where that frog pic is from but i think it is just scaled with an awkward ration and so the pixels are distorted in places. Originally it is most likely doublewide pixels all the way.
Title: Re: TRVE MASTERS OF NEBULAR FROST - unfinished indefinately
Post by: Helm on November 08, 2005, 02:52:21 pm
yeah I think it's doublewide, and then the whole thing scaled up by some sort of 70% thing